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The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian…
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The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for… (edition 2011)

by Russell Freedman

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3859227,939 (4.12)3
Member:skane86
Title:The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
Authors:Russell Freedman
Info:Sandpiper (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 128 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Nonfiction, highschool, journals articles newspapers, historic

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The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman

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Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Readable, compelling voice that relates her dignity well. The failure in New York that almost ended her career...a good example for young people: Don't give up. The drama of finding a place for her to perform...so ridiculous today. Attractive photos; unfortunately, the cover is not very eye-catching or clear. Bibliography and footnotes in back.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
The Voice that Challenged a Nation is a fantastic biography of Marian Anderson, the first female African American opera singer to achieve fame and success in Europe and the United States. Her success, however, did not protect her from the harsh racism that was still abundant in the US for the majority of her life. She handled it all with grace, charisma, and intelligence, but most of all with the professionalism and beauty of a true artist. Hers is an inspiring story that will have you cheering for her from the very first page - not only for her, but for the equal treatment of all.

This book would be perfect for a social studies unit on civil rights, especially focusing on the events leading up to the movement itself. In addition, it would bring greater understanding to a music classroom studying the genre of opera. Important discussions about equality and what it really means to live in a democracy would easily be brought to a class through this book. ( )
  Michaela.Bushey | Nov 22, 2013 |
The voice that challenged a nation: Marian Anderson and the struggle for equal rights, by Russell Freedman, is about the life of Marian Anderson and her dream of singing. She overcame many obstacles: racial prejudices, finical difficulties, etc… to achieve her dream of singing in the metropolitan opera. She also was a civil rights icon despite the fact that, that was not what she wanted. She sang in front of the Lincoln Memorial when the DAR denied her the use of Constitution Hall. I liked this book but I would not use it in a lesson. She was a reluctant civil rights icon not an activist. She just wanted to sing not make a political statement. I don’t feel this would be useful in a lesson on the civil rights era.
As to the style of the book, the book ideas are clearly organized. The author makes the language very accessible to the reader. The language is rather vivid. The text is very engaging and uses many narratives and anecdotes. The tone of the book is conversational. ( )
  Areamatha | May 9, 2013 |
This was a very inspiring book about a very talented person overcoming racial struggles during the time of the civil rights movement. As a non-fiction piece, I enjoyed seeing all of the photos and inserts that were relevant to the story being told. I like that she represented a change in our society that was necessary for us to be a more well rounded country with regard to the arts. I also like that it showed a comparison of the way things were at the same time frame in parts of Europe and how she was treated in both places. The accuracy of this book with regard to the time frame was very intriguing and also very pertinent to the overall point of the book, which I felt was that however unfair and dehumanizing discrimination is in every day life, to deny our culture the beauty of very talented artists based on something completely irrelevant to that art is in a word tragic.
I particularly enjoy the cover art on this book. For me it does many things. There are many visual cues that point toward the general tone of the book. The biggest word on the cover is the word “voice.” This showed that the most important thing about the person in the book was not her race or looks or sex, it was that she was one of the most talented singers of the time. It also took a ground-shaking event in her life and depicted it in a very symbolic way. She is standing off center from the photo, and what is in the center is the statue of Lincoln of which she is standing in front of. The one person in the history of the U.S. up to that point who had the biggest impact on African American rights. Aside from the placement of the two of them, they are shown in a perspective where they are the same size. Having been to the Lincoln Memorial, I know that the statue is massive. This shows to me that that concert had a large impact on the mindsets of the nation at the time. Also on either side of her were the pillars that are in front of the memorial. To me, this is representative of the stature of changes that were taking place at the time.
All around, I could see this book being taught, (or at least used as a tool to teach) as a significant change in the mindsets of those involved in the art world and civil rights movement of the era. At the least, it could be used as a suggested text to use during a February project on civil rights or the changing perspectives of those involved in the theater or art world during the 60’s and 70’s. It was a powerful book and I feel it gave an honest account of a very talented individual and her struggles with racism.
  AaronPendleton | May 6, 2013 |
(This book was read as part of my Newbery Award project; it was an Honor Book in 2005.)

I must confess at the outset that I am not much of a biography reader, although I do make exceptions if the subject is especially interesting to me. Marian Anderson was very famous in my childhood and I still like to listen to her recordings. It seemed incredible to me that [a:Russell Freedman|9263|Russell Freedman|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nophoto/nophoto-M-50x66.jpg], the author of this Newbery Honor Book, had not always known the story of Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939. I mean, my parents, who grew up in rural Maine and were not liberals, knew this story and recounted it to me. But, apparently, Freedman only heard it relatively recently and this inspired him to choose Anderson as the subject for this biography.

Freedman has written several other biographies for young people, including [b:Lincoln: A Photobiography|106597|Lincoln A Photobiography (Houghton Mifflin social studies)|Russell Freedman|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171565752s/106597.jpg|2123264] which won the Newbery Award in 1988. I kept wondering, what makes [b:The Voice That Challenged a Nation|614054|The Voice That Challenged a Nation Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights|Russell Freedman|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1176333716s/614054.jpg|600503] a young people's biography? It is shorter, true, than the average book written for adults, and the print is larger. I really appreciated that the many photographs were scattered throughout the book in their proper contexts, rather than being relegated to one or two sections of plates as in most "adult" books. But the writing is not particularly child-friendly, except that Freedman explains the pre-Civil Rights era of Jim Crow laws for children who never experienced it. His sources are mostly secondary. I did learn some things about Marian Anderson that I didn't know before, and came away with a fresh appreciation for her struggles and her artistry. This would be a fine book for a child to read for a school assignment or if s/he just didn't care much for fiction. I'm not convinced it was one of the three of four best children's books of its year, though. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618159762, Hardcover)

"A voice like yours," celebrated conductor Arturo Toscanini told contralto Marian Anderson, "is heard once in a hundred years." This insightful account of the great African American vocalist considers her life and musical career in the context of the history of civil rights in this country. Drawing on Anderson's own writings and other contemporary accounts, Russell Freedman shows readers a singer pursuing her art despite the social constraints that limited the careers of black performers in the 1920s and 1930s. Though not a crusader or a spokesperson by nature, Marian Anderson came to stand for all black artists-and for all Americans of color-when, with the help of such prominent figures as Eleanor Roosevelt, she gave her landmark 1939 performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which signaled the end of segregation in the arts.
Carefully researched, expertly told, and profusely illustrated with contemporary photographs, this Newbery Honor book is a moving account of the life of a talented and determined artist who left her mark on musical and social history. Through her story, one of today's leading authors of nonfiction for young readers illuminates the social and political climate of the day and an important chapter in American history. Notes, bibliography, discography, index.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the mid-1930s, Marian Anderson was a famed vocalist who had been applauded by European royalty and welcomed at the White House. But, because of her race, she was denied the right to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. This is the story of her resulting involvement in the civil rights movement of the time.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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